Iran could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers “within hours” if the United States imposes any more new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.
“If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time — not a week or a month but within hours — to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,” Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television.
Iran says new sanctions that the United States has imposed on it breach the agreement it reached in 2015 with the United States, Russia, China and three European powers in which it agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for the lifting of most sanctions.
The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on six Iranian firms in late July for their role in the development of a ballistic missile programme after Tehran launched a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.
In early August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea passed by the U.S. Congress. The sanctions in that bill also target Iran’s missile programmes as well as human rights abuses.
The United States imposed unilateral sanctions after saying Iran’s ballistic missile tests violated a U.N. resolution, which endorsed the nuclear deal and called upon Tehran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such technology.
It stopped short of explicitly barring such activity.
Iran denies its missile development breaches the resolution, saying its missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.
Trump said last week he did not believe that Iran was living up to the spirit of the nuclear deal.